Suicide is a Public Health Issue Which is Treatable and Preventable
Suicide does not discriminate amongst class, age or sex. According to the Center
of Disease Control, each year in the United States almost 31,000 lives are lost
to suicide. Approximately 10%, or 3,000, of these deaths occur in California.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for college-age people and the
third leading cause of death for youth. The rate is disproportionately high for
seniors and it is the number one cause of death in prisons and jails.
Additionally, suicide does not just affect one victim; it profoundly affects the
victim’s family, friends, classmates and co-workers, sometimes generating
depression and even more suicide.
The problem of suicide in California has been growing significantly over the
past three decades. According to the Department of Public Health, each year
there are approximately 3,400 deaths by suicide in our state, exceeding homicide
deaths by 144 percent and exceeding HIV/AIDS deaths by 202 percent. Suicide is
the 11th leading cause of death. It affects all age groups over age 5 and cuts
across all ethnic and socioeconomic groups. On the average, California has nine
suicides a day. Viewed this way, the state of California has its own "9/11" a
year, every year.
According to the California Department of Public Health, EPIC Branch, Vital
Statistics Death Statistical Master File, in 2004, there were 254 suicides in
Orange County Residents
Self-Inflicted Injuries, 2004